As the title suggests, the film was intended to launch a franchise. Orion Pictures reportedly wanted to create an American James Bond, but Remo Williams’ reception didn’t spawn any sequels. Ward’s brief stint as a leading man was over.

When Hong Kong film producers traveled to the States in search of the next Bruce Lee in 1983, nobody expected them to recruit a female martial artist. The Hong Kong film industry was dominated by men back then, but that had never stopped Cynthia Rothrock before.

Rothrock was a karate champion who defended her title against male competitors, in an era when there wasn’t a dedicated women’s league. Film producers recognized her cinematic potential and signed her up to a three-movie deal.

Rothrock proved extremely popular with moviegoers in Hong Kong, where she became known as The Blonde Fury. She ended up making a total of ten movies overseas before returning to America to launch an assault on Hollywood. Sadly, it didn’t pan out.

Despite her success overseas, Rothrock usually played second fiddle to male American stars. She half expected to get a call when The Expendables brought together a bunch of action stars from years gone by, but the phone never rang.

French actor Olivier Gruner began his martial arts training at age eleven after being bullied at school. The Paris native joined the military after graduating, joining an elite unit comparable to America’s Navy Seals. When his military career ended he got into prizefighting and worked the odd security job. One such role would change his life forever.

#ActionStars #80sActionMovies

Brian Bosworth | 0:15
Fred Ward | 1:13
Cynthia Rothrock | 2:17
Olivier Gruner | 3:08
Jeff Wincott | 4:03
David Bradley | 5:00

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21 thoughts on “The Real Reason Hollywood Won't Cast These Action Stars


  2. Action stars with real martial arts records never gets attention… sad..

  3. Remo Williams was great! went to the flix twice to see it. Rothrock IS and will always be a 'Love Quest' of …. well most kids of the 80's.
    unless your not a man

  4. Rothrock was a forms champion. She didn't fight men, which is why she was able to compete with them, as the video claims.

  5. They won’t cast them because martial arts movies are terrible it’s the only genre that Jackie chan and every other martial artist can act in because their acting is so bad it was only done correctly in the karate kid quadtrilogy,cobra Kai and the original 90s power rangers tv show

  6. To reduce Fred Ward's career to 2 or 3 films is just wrong. The Right Stuff, Tremors I and II, Henry and June (starring role), etc… He was still active in 2015.

  7. I grew up on American Ninja. My brother and I would regularly pose with our plastic ninja weapons like Dudikoff and and Bradley on the cover of AN4, annoying our mom!

  8. I loved Cynthia as a kid. I wish she had become a bigger star. Anyone else think Jeff Speakman should be in this list?

  9. One of the coldest reality-checks I've heard yet.

    "When they were gathering washed-up action stars for The Expendables, Cynthia Rothrock was expecting a call . . . . but the phone never rang."


  10. Mortal Kombat starring Jean-claude Van Damme as Johnny Cage & Cynthia Rothrock as Sonya Blade, co-starring Richard Norton as Kano, Bolo Yeung as Shang Tsung, Michel Qissi as Raiden, Jason Scott Lee as Liu Kang… would've been SWEET!

  11. so many of my favourite martial arts stars; Cynthia Rothrock, Oliver Grunier, Jeff Wincott, David Bradley. To me, they're stars, love'em all ☺

  12. His name is Lance Henriksen, not HenDricksen. Get your names right, Looper.

  13. What a pointless list…..basically it all boils down to they just weren't good enough!!

  14. Did Cynthia really half expect a call to be in the Expendables? What's your source?

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